What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions which cause optic nerve damage and can affect your vision. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve at the point where it leaves your eye.

Anyone can develop glaucoma but some factors can put you more at risk, these include your age, your family history, your race, your eye prescription, being diabetic and long term steroid use.

There are five types of glaucoma:

  • Primary open angle glaucoma
  • Closed angle glaucoma
  • Normal tension glaucoma
  • Secondary glaucoma
  • Congenital glaucoma

The most common type is primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) or chronic glaucoma. If you have POAG your peripheral vision, which is the vision you have around the edge of what you are looking directly at, gradually gets worse.

There is currently no treatment to restore sight loss caused by glaucoma but treatments, such as eye drops and laser surgery, can help prevent sight loss from happening. It is also very important to attend all your eye clinic appointments to make sure your eye pressure stays normal.

You can get more information and advice on glaucoma by contacting the International Glaucoma Association (IGA):

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